No. 8 Ole Miss sweeps series vs. No. 6 East Carolina, 8-6
OXFORD, Miss. – Eighth-ranked Ole Miss scored six unanswered runs in the sixth and seventh innings to complete a three-game sweep of No. 6 East Carolina Sunday afternoon at Swayze Field. With the win the Rebels improve to 3-0, while the Pirates fall to 0-3 to start the season.
Ryan Rolison (1-0) picked up the win working one inning of relief where he allowed one run (earned) on one hit with a walk and one strikeout. Dallas Woolfolk stuck out five of six batters faced in two frames notching his first save. Starter Brady Feigl was touched for five runs (four earned) on nine hits with four strikeouts in five innings of work, while Connor Green (0.2 IP) and Greer Holston (0.1 IP) combined for an inning of scoreless relief.
Hunter Hood (0-1) took the loss in his Pirate debut giving up a run (earned) in relief. Trey Benton, who made his collegiate debut, surrendered a pair of runs on four hits with two walks in 1.2 innings of his start. Joe Ingle tossed 3.1 scoreless innings of relief with four strikeouts, while Matt Bridges allowed four runs (all earned) on two hits in one-third of an inning. Chris Holba (1.1 IP, 1 R), Ryan Ross (0.1 IP) and Tyler Smith (1.0 IP) also toed the rubber for the Pirates.
ECU out hit Ole Miss on the day 12-10 getting multi-hit efforts from Travis Watkins (3-for-5), Eric Tyler (2-for-5), Dwanya Williams-Sutton (2-for-5) and Charlie Yorgen (2-for-4). Watkins drove in a team-best three runs, while Yorgen pushed across a pair and Nick Barber added an RBI.
Grae Kessinger (3-for-4) and Cole Zabowski (2-for-4) each had multiple base knocks for the Rebels. Zabowski drove in a game-high four runs, which included a two-run home and a two-run single. Ryan Olenek added two RBI including the game winner in the bottom of the seventh inning.
How It Happened:
Ole Miss answered ECU’s four runs in the top of the sixth with five of its own to take a 7-6 lead. Will Golsan plated Colby Bortles with a one-out single through the left side. After a Thomas Dillard walk and a passed ball, Zabowski singled home the two runners with a shot to right field. Two batters later Olenek’s two-RBI double gave the Rebels the lead for good.
ECU broke a two-all tie in the top half of the sixth thanks to an RBI double down the right field line by Watkins that scored Tyler. Yorgen followed two batters later with a two-run single pushing across Spencer Brickhouse and Watkins. Barber, who made his collegiate debut at shortstop, executed a safety squeeze with a bunt back to the mound that allowed Luke Bolka to score capping the inning at 6-2.
For the third-straight game, ECU took an early lead when Watkins slapped a two-out two-RBI single through left side for a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Williams-Sutton singled to start the game, which was followed by T.J. Riles’ single down the left field line. A Feigl wild pitch moved both runners up 90 feet before coming home on Watkins’ first hit of the season.
Zabowski knotted the game at two-all in the bottom half of the second for Ole Miss. Dillard singled to center with one out and came around to score on Zabowski’s two-run shot to right-center field.
The Rebels added an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh when Chase Cockrell scored on an intentional walk, wild pitch making it an 8-6 contest.
The Pirates will close out their four-game road trip to open the season at Campbell on Wednesday, Feb. 22 with a 4 p.m. (ET) scheduled first pitch.